Quick Weight Loss: 5 Changes to Make
Are you skeptical when you read a magazine article or hear an obesity expert on TV claiming that you that if you do “just this one thing” you can get quick weight loss and be slim forever?
Being skeptical of quick weight loss claims is always a good idea, but in this case, science says it might be true.
A 2008 study from the Department of Psychology at East Carolina University found that people who made one small, preferably permanent change in their food or physical activity choices—like drinking one less sweetened iced tea or adding 10 minutes to their daily walk—lost four times more weight, and twice as much belly fat, as people who followed traditional reduced-calorie diets and exercise guidelines.
Researchers call this the “small-changes approach.” The key is to do something new, something you’re not already doing. And, instead of trying to make half a dozen big changes, focus on making a couple of small changes at a time. That may be just enough to accelerate your weight loss and provide you with the time you need to make your brand new lifestyle choice a habit.
Looking for some small, smart ideas to see quick weight loss results? Try these:
1. Cut back on treats… a little bit at a time.
Nutrisystem encourages enjoying your favorites in moderation, but high-fat, sweet or savory foods do still pile on the calories. If you eat one every day, try skipping a day until you’re down to no more than two or three treats a week.
Or, try swapping your favorite guilty pleasures with healthier versions, like one of these Top Nutrisystem Sweet Treats or one of these 17 Desserts Under 200 Calories… you’ll get the sweet fix you’re after without the diet aftermath.
2. Add a few more veggies.
You should be eating four or more servings a day on the Nutrisystem program, but the non-starchy ones, like broccoli and green beans are unlimited! Because you can fill up on as many as you want, add one or two servings. Besides vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant chemicals, vegetables are chock full of fiber to help you stay fuller longer, making it easier to cut back on your need for treats.
Not a huge veggie fan? Check out this helpful article for weight loss tips on how to sneak them in… without even noticing!
3. Go just a little farther.
If you’ve been sedentary, work your way gradually up to 30 minutes of physical activity a week. Then go one step further. Add another five minutes every week (or two) until you’re doing 60 minutes a day. In the small-changes study, participants lost weight just by increasing their activity by a few minutes a day. You can take one more step.
Just make sure to read up on these 10 Safety Rules for Walkers before you head out. And, if you’re not a fan of pounding pavement, be sure to check out our Fitness section for all kinds of activity tips and ideas (for every fitness level!).
4. Work on your heart muscle.
While we encourage exercisers to do both cardio and resistance training, if you’re tight on time and it’s a choice between cardio and weight-lifting, choose cardio, say Duke University researchers in their 2012 study pitting the two activities against one another in a group of 119 volunteers. The cardio exercisers were more likely to lose weight than those doing resistance training.
Need some cardio ideas? Try these 9 Body Toning Exercises sure to tone you up while you slim down!
5. Log it.
Keeping a food diary can double your weight loss, according to a long-running weight control study from Kaiser Permanente. If you’re not tracking your food intake with NuMi, the easy-to-use-tracker from Nutrisystem, now’s the time to start. A food diary can help you see where you might be veering off course and keep you mindful about your food choices.